You’ve heard me say it, and I still think it’s true. I think last year humbled me a bit as a Mets fan, and a baseball fan. Now I’m not saying I’m going to sit quiet, not complain, or not get into a daily debate with Bayonne over the value of getting on base as opposed to the sacrifice fly (zing!)
What I mean is, I think for the past 3 years the off-season has created a false expectation. An idea that the only way this season is watchable for me, is if the Mets make it to the playoffs and ultimately win the World Series. I think I’ve started to realize that the only expectation I should have as a NY Mets fan prior to the season starting is that the season will be entertaining and watchable.
Look back at the past few World Series teams. Ignore the Yankees for a moment who expect to win it all, every year. Since 2000 there have been obviously 20 World Series teams. Of those 20 individual teams, I would say 14 of those fan bases went into Opening Day hoping for a competitive season, but not expecting a World Series appearance.
2008 Rays, 2008 Phillies, 2007 Rockies, 2006 Cardinals, 2006 Tigers, 2005 Astros, 2005 White Sox, 2004 Cardinals, 2004 Red Sox, 2003 Marlins, 2002 Giants, 2002 Angels, 2001 Diamondbacks, 2000 Mets.
Sure, we can hope for it to happen, but I think by creating expectations since 2006 that it WILL or SHOULD happen, we’ve forgotten about the rest of the season.
So with Opening Day right around the corner, I’m ready to go. Here is my list of things I’d like to see during this 2010 Mets season. If I see at least 50% of these occurrences, I will consider that a successful season for me as a Mets fan. As the season progresses, we’ll see how we did.
25 things to make this season an enjoyable one:
- Opening Day defeat of the Marlins: Few days to me are as important as Opening Day. I believe offices around the country should be closed to celebrate this day.
- Jose Reyes with a Citi Field triple in his first series back from the DL
- Carlos Beltran back in time for the May 1 game at Philadelphia
- Luis Castillo catch the winning fly ball against the Yankees.
- David Wright, Jason Bay, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana and Frankie Rodriguez on the NL All-Star team.
- An over .500 West Coast road trip after the all-star break
- Defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks on a late July Friday night, courtesy of Aaron Heilman.
- A walk off victory against the Phillies on either August 13th or 14th. Preferably with the phrase “OUTTA HERE!” screamed so loud, Gary has to let Keith do PBP the next night.
- A Citi Field moment. That means the moment late in a game where the crowd comes alive and it feels like the energy of Shea has finally transferred over.
- The firing of Jerry Manuel if under .500 by June 1. This however must be done in the middle of the afternoon, and not in the middle of the night.
- The hiring of either Wally Backman, Bobby Valentine or Ken Oberkfell if Jerry is let go.
- Oliver Perez wins 14 games. This is mostly due to the fact I picked him to win Comeback Player of the Year, and I have a wager with a friend on his win total.
- Cole Hamels to suck again.
- An “MVP” chant at Citi Field during the summer for either Reyes, Wright, Beltran or Bay.
- Box Frites to still be amazing. This is a guarantee.
- Catch Keith drinking wine again on camera.
- Have two of the following prove to Mets fans that hope is on the way: Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Fernando Martinez, Jon Niese, Ruben Tejada, Jenrry Mejja.
- One of the two Japanese imports to not pitch like Kaz Masui hits.
- Francoeur throwing out the final runner at the plate.
- Daniel Murphy with an OBP of at least .350
- No PR disasters. Everybody leave your shirt on, if you’re going to fire somebody, do it right, and please let the next press conference be worthy of one?
- Reyes to shrug off the critics and just play his game. This includes dancing if he feels like it.
- Bay, Wright, Reyes, Johan, and K-Rod to not spend 1 day on the Disabled List.
- Play hard, you can lose games, but don’t give up in the 3rd inning. “Play to the whistle” as they say.
- 82 regular season wins. All I want is more wins than losses, the rest I will take as gravy on the side. Give me a competitive season, and I’ll be happy.
So there you have it. My hope is that all 25 of these items can occur, but I’ll settle for above .500 on this list as well. Let’s have an enjoyable season, which will hopefully lead to a successful one!